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Preliminary 2020/2021 multi-year business plan & budget focuses on infrastructure, maintaining services & preparing for growth

For immediate release: October 30, 2019 - 3:00pm
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Focusing on investing in infrastructure, maintaining service levels and supporting future growth, the City today released the 2020/2021 Preliminary Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget.

“We’ve put forward careful investments in high-quality civic services and programs that stretch taxpayer dollars and add value for residents,” says Clae Hack, Interim Chief Financial Officer.  “Citizen input shared with us through our civic services surveys was considered in our proposed budget planning.  Citizen feedback on service priorities helps inform City Council when it makes investment decisions in November.”

While the 2020/2021 Preliminary Budget invests in those civic services most important to residents, it is also guided by the vision and goals outlined in City Council’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan and its 10 Strategic Priority areas of focus.

The 2020/2021 Preliminary Business Plan and Budget deliberations are scheduled for November 25, 26 and 27 in City Council Chambers.

This is the City’s first multi-year budget approach. It will provide greater certainty for residents about future property taxes, give better alignment with the City’s longer-term goals, and improve transparency, financial stability and accountability.

The multi-year budget is built from this foundation, and a four-step process that started with:

  • Determining costs to maintain current service levels for the next two years - the original estimate required a 3.94% and 4.17% property tax increase;
  • City Council providing a property tax target goal for 2020 and 2021; City Council then directed Administration to bring back options to reduce the proposed property tax increase estimate;​
  • Administration providing various options and plans to help achieve City Council’s strategic and property tax goals, effectively lowering the proposed property tax increases to 3.23% for 2020, and 3.54% for 2021; and​ 
  • ​Incorporating corporate business plans into the proposed 2020 and 2021 multi-year budget document, including six property tax-reducing options.

“City Council will consider additional operating budget options aimed at helping to accelerate its top priority areas of focus in November,” Hack says.

With the above considerations, the 2020 and 2021 Operating Budget proposes total expenditures of $530.0 million and $548.3 million respectively.  This is an investment increase of $19.6 million, or 3.84%, in 2020; and $18.4 million, or 3.47%, in 2021.

With a commitment to improving safety in Saskatoon, Policing represents the largest portion of the City’s operating expenditures at approximately 21%, or $109.6 million, in 2020; and $114.0 million in 2021.  All other civic operations make up the rest of the operating budget, with $420.4 million in 2020 and $434.4 million in 2021.

The proposed 2020/2021 Capital Budget aims to prepare Saskatoon for future growth, improve mobility, enhance public safety and quality of life, and protect the environment. Investments of $390.8 million in 2020 and $293.5 million in 2021 will provide a continued focus on road and infrastructure enhancements, transit improvements, and expanded water and wastewater distribution systems.

The proposed municipal property tax increase is 3.23% in 2020, and 3.54% for 2021.  These increases would generate an additional $7.9 million in 2020 and $8.7 million in 2021.  In 2020, 1.0% of property tax is equivalent to $2.4 million, and $2.5 million in 2021.

For a homeowner who owns a single-family detached home with an average assessed value of $371,000, this amounts to $60.95 for 2020, or $5.08 a month, and $66.83 for 2021, or an additional $5.57 month.

Learn more about the investments the City proposes in services, programs and projects valued by citizens, and those that will ensure Saskatoon stays a great place to live, work, learn and play through the detailed 2020/2021 Preliminary Business Plan and Budget at saskatoon.ca/budget